Remulla to UNHRC: ‘PH gov’t assures full enjoyment of human rights by all Filipinos’

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla will leave for Geneva in Switzerland on Friday, Nov. 11, to lead a government delegation which will participate in Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines that will be conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

“I am going to the UPR with a very clear message: The Philippines, under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., is working to deliver transformational reform of its justice and law enforcement sectors – to enhance the enjoyment of human rights of all our citizens – based on the rule of law and respect for due process,” Remulla said in a statement issued on Thursday, Nov. 10.

“I will share ongoing initiatives of the DOJ, which we have labelled as a comprehensive reform program of ‘Real Justice in Real Time.’ It includes, among others, concrete measures to decongest our prisons, improve case build-up through cooperation between prosecutors, investigators, and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and reaching out to civil society to strengthen witness protection,” he said.

He said will inform the UNHRC “about gains made during the first 100 days of the Marcos Administration in terms of protection of vulnerable groups, such as migrants and children.”

He added that he will also provide “an update of how the Philippines has implemented the recommendations that it accepted during previous reviews.”

“As is usual practice in the UPR, a large number of countries have inscribed to speak during the review. Our delegation looks forward to listening to the observations and any new recommendations that UN Member States will put forward,” he noted.

“In the UPR, each country is free to respond to issues in the manner it deems most appropriate. There is no obligation to accept all recommendations,” he said.

“In any case, the Philippines will engage constructively and openly based on the principles of sovereign equality, independence, and dialogue. Human rights are part of the vibrant fabric of Philippine society and democratic governance. We are thus confident that our UPR session will be fruitful,” he also said.

He explained the UPR is “a peer-review mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) wherein the promotion and protection of human rights in all countries are reviewed on a regular basis.”

“This is the fourth time that the Philippines participates in the UPR. Previous reviews took place in 2008, 2012, and 2017,” he noted.

He said the UPR of the Philippines during this cycle will be held this Monday, Nov. 14, and the adoption of the report of the session is scheduled on Nov. 16.

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